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Should I Use “STOPs” To Make My Husband Communicate?
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Our live caller explains she had an affair, but wants to work things out with her husband. She’s been trying really hard to reconnect and earn his forgiveness. At first, he also tried to reconcile and work through things, but then he decided not to.
She says he shuts her out “completely.” She says she’s worked on the PIES and done everything possible to make changes in herself. She says, “I’m not sure how the STOPs & COREs work…”
Because of this, Dr. Joe Beam asks this caller if her husband is speaking to someone who is feeding this negative behavior.
She says her husband speaks with a coworker in a similar situation. The coworker is divorced- his wife cheated on him and she left him. She also says her husband read a book about “being a chump.”
Dr. Joe Beam also asks her, “Are you going to continue living in the same house?”
She responds that she doesn’t want to, but is continuing to do so for her kids- so the kids can be okay. However, she says, “I can’t do it much longer… Every time I try to talk to him, he shuts me out.”
Here at Marriage Helper, we’ve heard people ask, “If I’m going to have to put my foot down about something, when do I do it?” One of the criteria we suggest people think about is this:
Is your situation negatively affecting you OR your children physically, intellectually, emotionally or spiritually? And, not just hurting, but becoming detrimental in any of these 4 areas?
Because of this, we teach STOPs: safeguards that offer protection physically, intellectually, emotionally or spiritually. Ask yourself, what is it that I want to “stop”? (In this specific case, our live caller may want her husband to “start” doing something. However, you can’t make your spouse be who you want him to be, you can only control you. So, sometimes, you may have to make a decision.)
Before setting a CORE or a STOP, have a conversation with your spouse where you explain you realize what you did was wrong, but don’t know what else you can do. Explain what you need from your spouse. And, do NOT continue to beat yourself up. If you do, it will continue to feed the negative emotions of your spouse.
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